Meet Sultana, a 24-year-old hairdresser at Sidal Cosmetics, a women-owned beauty center that provides skincare sessions, laser services, and offers a range of beauty products, accessories, and perfumes.
Sultana’s story is not just about overcoming physical challenges, but also about finding a workplace that values her skills and potential. Sultana’s journey began at a young age when she faced health challenges due to a tumor in her back. Despite undergoing surgery at the age of 10, the procedure left her with a permanent urinary catheter and physical disability in one leg.
As a member of a family of six, with her father being the sole breadwinner, Sultana faced the harsh reality of economic struggles. These challenges, however, fueled her ambition to contribute and provide, making the search for a job a necessity,” Mrs. Wafaa, the owner of Sidal Cosmetics, says.
Undeterred by her physical limitations, Sultana joined Sidal Cosmetics three years ago, ready to showcase her dedication and talent.
Mrs. Wafaa sees Sultana as more than just an employee; she considers her a responsibility. In the face of challenging economic and social conditions, Mrs. Wafaa believes in sharing the responsibility and enabling each individual to contribute,
Understanding Sultana’s need to work comfortably, Mrs. Wafaa ensures that Sultana can accomplish most of her tasks while sitting, recognizing this as an advantage rather than a limitation. Sultana’s previous experiences in other workplaces were marred by exploitation and lower wages due to stereotypes surrounding her disability. At Sidal Cosmetics, she found not just a job but a supportive environment that values her competence.
Mrs. Wafaa challenges the common perception of disability, urging society, organizations, and stakeholders to support individuals like Sultana in entering the labor market. She emphasizes that differences should be viewed as advantages rather than problems.
Recognizing the importance of ongoing training, Mrs. Wafaa shares that Sultana is currently enrolled in a hairdressing course with the Red Crescent to obtain a professional certificate. This commitment to skill development reflects the dedication of both employer and employee to continual growth and learning.
Sultana’s story challenges us to see beyond disabilities, turning them into unique advantages that contribute to the vibrant tapestry of a diverse and inclusive society. In embracing Sultana’s narrative, we recognize the potential of SMEs like Sidal Cosmetics to not only provide meaningful employment but also become catalysts for job creation and reshape perceptions around disability in the professional sphere.